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How MrBeast Burger made $720k in the first month - viral marketing strategies (10 min read)

Mr Beast Burgers – a chain of over 300 virtual restaurants launched literally overnight in the US by a famous YouTuber.

?Strategy & Tools

MrBeast Burger Timeline


  • Nov 19, 2020 - Mr. Beast, a YouTuber with the fastest growing channel and over 50M subscribers, opens Mr. Beast Burger. With literally no advertising except branding an existing restaurant, thousands of fans quickly appeared to check out the drive-through that paid the customers, They formed a traffic jam that at the end of the day was over 20 miles long
  • Dec 19,2020 - MrBeast Tweeted about his launch of a brand new MrBeast Burger restaurant chain with over 300 locations nationwide. He also uploaded a video titled „I Opened a Restaurant That Pays You to Eat It” portraying the opening stunt is released by MrBeast on YouTube. The MrBeast Burger app quickly becomes #1 on App Store, at one point getting more daily downloads than YouTube’s app. It crashed from the demand and the users had to wait for over 3 hours for their delivery to arrive. Mr. Beast Burgers also became Top 5 Google search
  • Jan 26, 2021 - the video has 39M views. The MrBeast Burger app is still #34 on the US App Store. Mr. Beast Burgers’ Instagram account has over 60k followers. The reviews are mixed–the burgers seem to be okay but holding the same quality across 300 virtual restaurants is hard to achieve.

How did MrBeast burger start?

It all started from a single pop-up event in December 2020 when Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast) served thousands of his fans in Wilson, North Carolina.

The whole event was so successful (probably because of the YouTube'a popularity) that he decided to take up a challenge of turning it into a regular business… and it worked!

Who launched MrBeast Burger?

A famous, 23-year-old (as of 2022) YouTuber and a celebrity, Jimmy Donaldson is a founder of the MrBeast Burger. He's better known as MrBeast from his YouTube channel. To found the restaurant chain he joined forces with Virtual Dining Concepts.

Clever business idea

Launching 300 restaurants overnight would be impossible, especially if such a chain as the super popular Shake Shack has barely reached 300. The key is in Virtual Dining Concept, a startup which uses existing kitchens to maximize restaurant profits by preparing delivery-only meals under known brands – such as Tyga’s or MrBeast’s.

In this business, everyone wins. The restaurant increases profit. The brand gets a physical business. The tech provider gets his cut. There are still some quality inconsistencies, but that’s definitely an innovative to run a chain of restaurants.

The math is also right. MrBeast gets around $1.2 margin from the order and since his manager claims over 20k customers showed up on the first day, that was already $24k made in just one day. Keeping this performance would go to $720k in a month!

Why is MrBeast so popular?

Thanks to his well-thought strategy. As he admitted in one of the interviews, he thinks about new ideas for months. This YouTuber knows exactly what makes a video go viral and uses that to grow his audience. The viral launch of his 300 virtual restaurants was a well-planned strategy execution.

Reaching out to your audience

It is commonly mentioned that acquiring a new customer costs 5x more than retaining an old one. That’s also the case for cross-promotion. With so big an audience around MrBeast, it would be dumb to invest in acquiring new customers. Businesses pay influencers to promote their brands, but an effective monetization strategy for the influencer is to build a brand. MrBeast took that to another level.

He simply leveraged what he already had and even if the conversion rate would be at 1%, he would get 500k customers out of his subscribers. That’s insane!

MrBeast Burger price – is MrBeast Burger profitable?

It's very profitable. If we take the average MrBeast Burger price which is around $8 (as of June 2021), and know how many burgers are being sold regularly, it gives us an estimated amount of $8 million in something like 3 months. It's more or less $30 million in a year!

The power of a giveaway

If there’s anyone who knows how to make a viral video, that’s MrBeast. He is known for giving away tons of money, and the launch stunt was based on the same concept. Customers of the MrBeast Burger restaurant got food for free but many of them received piles of cash, some got Apple’s products, one woman even received a car because hers was broken.

Marketing spend is exactly paying to encourage certain customer action. MrBeast treats that literally and gives free burgers and cash to customers instead of spending that on online advertising. For the customer, it’s hard not to share it with his friends and becomes connected to the brand. Out of one who received such a present, you get a couple of other clients and many others who watch the video and hope for getting some similar freebie.

It’s not only well-calculated but that’s also entertaining for those who showed up in the physical location and those who watched that on YouTube. Even today, MrBeast Burgers leverage giveaway and mention a chance to win prizes in the app.

Building a long-lasting brand

MrBeast’s content’s power is that it’s always entertaining. So was the video about MrBeast Burgers launch and all these stunts contribute to building a more and more powerful brand for the creator.

With that, he has a real influence on his audience and if he wanted to do so, he can monetize the brand in the future–just as with the burgers launched nation-wide. Except for that, MrBeast is known for reinvesting tons of money to do other crazy stunts that also contribute to establishing his position on YT but also in the global entertainment scene.

MrBeast Burger locations

In fact, there is no original MrBeast Burger location. MrBeast burger locations are all delivery-only. It means that even if there is a restaurant building, you can’t order your food for takeaway.

By the end of 2020, there were nearly 170 cities with the MrBeast Burger restaurants. In December 2020, the number of the MrBeast Burger locations reached an impressive number. MrBeast tweeted about 300 restaurants being open worldwide.

MrBeast net worth – how much is MrBeast worth?

The famous YouTuber, MrBeast, has a total net worth of $25 million as of January 2022.

?Psychology

Anchoring

The initial piece of information in MrBeast Burgers’ promo video is a piece of content found later in the video. That relates to a cognitive bias that makes the future decision-making biased. The audience sees that the video will have an interesting moment and keeps watching–even if most parts of the video are less entertaining.

Curiosity Gap

MrBeast Burger restaurant was a pop-up restaurant where he gave away burgers to people for free and even offered them money. He never published the address, but there was still a traffic jam lasting for a whole day.

That was because of the natural human curiosity which motivates to persist in finding the missing information. In other words–even if you had to wait for a whole day for the burger, you were curious on whether you’ll also be lucky enough to get cash with the order.

Availability bias

Once an event occurs and is noticed, every other similar event gets noticed, creating an illusion on its frequency. Even though only a few people could’ve got the cash and gadgets to the burgers, it seemed as so much people get these piles of cash. That builds a feeling of staying at the popup store.

The power of a story

Research shows that human brains are wired to maintain focus whenever they hear a story. Once we find it emotional, informative, or entertaining, we have a tendency to share it and social media is just one of the modern mechanisms to do it.

The video of MrBeast Burgers launch has these traits and this is what could both keep the watchers glued, making the video promoted by YouTube’s algorithm, but also to share the story with others.

?Window of Opportunity

If you have a strong brand, leverage it and cross-promote to succeed with other ventures.

Viral videos and businesses aren’t happening by accident, and MrBeast Burgers are a great example of it. He has a clever business idea, he researched what makes a video go viral for months, and in the end–he successfully launched a business that people still talk about.

But if there’s a one-liner lesson in Mr. Beast Burgers, that’s the words of a marketing professor, Jonah Berger–„Virality isn’t born, it’s made.” Use it!

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